Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Netherlands

4th edition International Summer School in Cultural Economics

Amsterdam, Netherlands
For the 4th consecutive time, the Centre for Research in Arts and Economics (CREARE) organizes the International Summer School in Cultural Economics. The three courses take place in Amsterdam and they examine the relationship between culture and economics, the link between creativity, arts, and business, and bridge the knowledge and experiences of scholars and practitioners involved in specific cultural sectors. The courses are led by professor Arjo Klamer, renowned Cultural Economist at the Erasmus University. This year the Summer School is organized in cooperation with Erasmus... See full description.
Study Programs: Cultural Studies... See all programs.

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About Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Netherlands

Vocational education in the Netherlands is known as Vocational Secondary Education (MBO). The Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) is the act or statute under which the vocational schools in Netherlands work. Vocational education courses in the Netherlands are offered by Regional training centers (ROCs); while Agricultural training centers (AOCs) provide agricultural courses in the Netherlands.

Admission Requirements for Vocational Training in the Netherlands

The conditions under the Adult and Vocational Education Act include the following:
  • Anyone may seek admission in a vocational training school in Netherlands for basic vocational training. Previous education is not given much weight.
  • Admission at the professional or middle-management training level requires a certificate of pre-vocational secondary education or a certificate of junior general secondary education (MAVO), or such documentation, which certifies that three years of senior general secondary education or pre-university education have been successfully completed.
  • Professional training qualifications for an occupation or occupation group can enable admission into a specialist level training course in that field.
Students who have completed their pre vocational training can apply to vocational schools in the Netherlands. Students who have completed the theoretical, combined or middle-management vocational program at VMBO level  can apply for professional and middle-management training (MBO levels 3 and 4); whereas those who have completed the basic vocational program can apply for basic vocational training (MBO level 2).

Teaching methods are usually left to the teachers’ discretion. There are no significant rulings in the act, specifying what the teachers must teach or the methods they should use. Secondary vocational education courses in the Netherlands typically include practical training, which in the case of vocational training pathway (BOL), usually makes for 20 to 60 percent of the course work and in case of block or day release pathway (BBL), more than 60 percent of the course. A diploma is awarded at the end of level 2 of the vocational course, which is equivalent to a basic qualification.

Progress of the students, during vocational training courses, is assessed on the basis of both theory and practical knowledge. The changing economy has led to remarkable shift in demands concerning the workforce. The Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) has laid down a number of points, noting the theoretical as well as practical knowledge skills that students should possess. The labor market is dynamic, and instead of separate qualifications for theory and practice, MBO qualification profiles describe the skill requirements in the form of core tasks, work processes and competencies.

Qualification Structure of Vocational Training Courses in the Netherlands

On August 1, 1997, the qualification structure was introduced. This comprises 4 levels of training.
  • Level 1: These are assistant level courses. They train students to perform simple administrative tasks. They are meant for students who have been unable to obtain a basic qualification (level 2)
  • Level 2: These are basic vocational training courses. They equip students to perform executive tasks (more complicated routines and standard procedures). The diploma awarded to students on completion is equivalent to a basic qualification.  This is considered to be the minimum qualification that everyone in the Netherlands should possess.
  • Level 3: These are professional vocational training courses. The students who successfully complete this level are awarded a professional training diploma, and are able to perform professional tasks fully and independently.
  • Level 4: These are specialist training courses. Graduates of this level are able to perform tasks fully and independently; they are also specialized in a specific field, and can perform a broad range of tasks related to that field. This is what middle-management or specialist training equips a student with. Additionally, they also showcase non-job-specific skills, such as tactical and strategic thinking.

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